The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

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The lowest common denominator

Let's be clear: The press does not want you to think about current events. They want you to "feel" them. By doing so, they control your entire thought process on what you're reading, and what you're seeing.

This series of photographs, to me, is one of the basest examples of propaganda I've ever seen. There's no logical reason for a photograph like this—it contains no information, but merely reduces the entire argument over the war to base emotions. And, as we all have learned over time, information transmitted by raw emotion can only be referred to as one word:—Propaganda!

UPDATE 21-AUG-2006 08:51 EST: I've completed the commentary which goes along with the photographs. Be sure to check it out by clicking on the "Read More" link below!

UPDATE 24-AUG-2006 12:34 EST: I WAS RIGHT! Check out this photo, which appeared on today's wires, sent by Zohra Bensemra of Reuters. Not quite as dramatic as Ben Curtis' dreck, but the same basic concept!Our first photograph, sent in by the award-winning Ben Curtis, is supposedly a woman mourning at a funeral for the civilians killed at Qana. Ben's caption neglects to mention that the "29" people killed were less than half of the initially-parroted estimates—but that's not important, we merely need to feeeeeeeel the pain of this picture. It's curious that Ben elects not to provide any context around this picture, though. I wouldn't be surprised to see the funeral dotted with Hezbullah flags. Zombie wrote an excellent analysis of this kind of context-free emotion about a year ago, which is still well worth reading.

A mourner grieves at a mass funeral in Qana, southern Lebanon Friday, Aug. 18, 2006. The funeral of 29 people killed in an Israeli airstrike on July 30th - half of them children - took place about half a kilometer from the two-storey home which was destroyed in the attack. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)


In this next picture, by the similarly award-winning Kevin Frayer, we see two women weeping at a funeral. Without reading the caption, we'd never guess that they were crying over Hezbullah terrorists! (Kudos to Kevin, though, for at least coming clean on that fact in the caption...)

Lebanese women comfort each other at the funeral of a Lebanese Hezbollah fighter who was killed in fighting with Israeli forces in southern Lebanon, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)


Ben follows up his previous photograph with this one, which he claims is a different funeral, this time one for nine Hezbullah terrorists. Of course, lacking the context behind the photographs, it's really hard to say whether this really is a different funeral, or whether he's just taking creative license with his captioning.

A mourner carrying a baby cries as the mass funeral procession of nine Hezbollah fighters passes by her in the village of Deir Qanoun en Nahr, east of Tyre in southern Lebanon, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006. The nine Hezbollah fighters died during the war and had been buried in a makeshift mass grave in Tyre whilst it was too dangerous to hold funerals, and were subsequently exhumed and reburied at the mass funeral in Deir Qanoun en Nahr where they originated from. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)


Our first "copycat" of this particular type of picture, from AP photographer Sergey Ponomarev:

A Lebanese woman bursts into tears during the funeral procession of Kassim Ali Garib, Hassan Ali Garib and Haisan Ali Garib, three Hezbollah fighters, in the village of Naqoura, southern Lebanon, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006, after they were killed in conflict with Israel. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)


It's interesting to note that, so far, only the Associated Press is sending these context-free emotions across their wires. I'm betting that it won't be another day or two before we see similar images on Reuters and AFP... (Don't worry—if I'm wrong, I'll admit it here, too!)

The latest: This photo came across the wires on the 24th of August, thereby vindicating my challenge directly above. Huzzah! Score one for the Gipper, with our newcomer, Zohra Bensemra, who brings REUTERS into the fold. Next up, AFP?

A Lebanese woman mourns the members of her family who were victims of the recent conflict between Israel and Hizbollah during a funeral ceremony in southern Lebanon, August 24, 2006. (Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)

 Tags: ben curtis kevin frayer sergey pomonarev zohra bensemra AP REUTERS Israel/Lebanon War 2006


Comments:

#1 jack 23-Aug-2006
We must remember that the media, for the most part, is a for profit enterprise. Much like advertising, it, that is the media, will use whatever means it has at its disposal to grasp your attention, there by selling more of their commodity. This results in more advertising revenue and more money for the outlets share holders. Beware, don't be fooled!
#2 Chester 29-Aug-2006
- Laugh Track -
#3 ahmed 30-May-2007
why are u surprised that they are weeping for Hezbollah fighters arent they human too? Those Hezbollah Fighters are their Men,their fathers,their sons and nephews who risk their lives to defend their people and families. Ofcourse their going to be crying about them you ignorant person
#4 Brian C. Ledbetter 30-May-2007
Ahmed,

"Fighters" who use civilians around them as shields are not deserving of the title "human," so in answer to your first question: No, they are not.

Salaam,
Brian
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